The Road to Teacher Certification

Welcome! When you decide to become a teacher, you are taking on the tremendous responsibility and honor of teaching young people of all ages, nationalities and levels of ability how to understand and interact with our rapidly-changing modern world.

Click below for the Teacher Candidate Handbook:

The Holmes Center works with program faculty and clinical educators to prepare students for the Internship in Student Teaching; The Road to Certification outlines the required steps for meeting certification requirements; there are four milestones called Decision Points. Each Decision Point milestone is a pre-requisite for the one that follows. Graduate and Undergraduate students should review the four Decision Points. Decision Points I, II and III must be completed prior to registering for the Internship (completed in Decision Point IV). Below are the requirements for all students. Programs may have additional requirements.

Decision Point I: Applying for Teacher Candidacy

Decision Point I begins in your first year here at PSU.  This list of requirements must be completed to be accepted by the Holmes Center as a teacher candidate. First, complete the candidacy application.

Candidacy Application
This application activates your teacher candidacy file with the Holmes Center including your Taskstream account. Please complete once. Graduate Students should complete this immediately upon acceptance into the program.
NH Basic Skills Test Requirement
Basic Skills Requirement: Passing Praxis Core scores in Reading, Writing and Math or the test evaluation request are required at least 1 year before the internship begins. Scores must be reported to the Holmes Center.

Praxis Core tests are an assessment of basic skills and are designed to measure proficiency in the areas of reading, writing, and math. The Praxis Core tests should be taken during your first year at PSU and must be passed by meeting the current scores required by the State of New Hampshire.  Students must retake and pass any portion of the Praxis Core where the minimum score has not been achieved. There is a period of time required before a test can be retaken, so take these tests right away.

Performance at or above a predetermined minimum score (set by the NHDOE) on a nationally recognized test in the areas of reading, writing, and/or mathematics (such as, but not limited to, the SAT, GRE, or ACT) can be used to get a waiver for the Praxis Core requirement. Submit the Test Evaluation Request directly to the NHDOE, as outlined below.

Directions for submitting the Test Evaluation Request are posted on the Praxis Core Requirement page.

2 Faculty Evaluations
Faculty Evaluations must be submitted from two PSU faculty members with whom you have taken classes. They do not have to be education professors.

Make requests in person. Then follow-up with a thank-you email that includes the link to the evaluation form, your student ID#, and certification program. Not required for Graduate Students.

Click here to view the faculty evaluation items.

Here is the link to the form.

GPA Requirement
A GPA of 2.5 or 3.0(program dependent); is required for all majors to be accepted into Teacher Certification Candidacy. Graduate Programs require a 3.0 or higher. Please view the academic catalog for program specific GPA requirements. This is the last requirement checked before Decision Point 1 is completed.
Orientation: Declaring Teacher Candidacy
Meeting with Holmes Center faculty and staff for an introduction to the Road to Teacher Certification program in Taskstream and on the Holmes Center website.
Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics
Read the New Hampshire State Board of Education on Nov. 8, 2018, approved the Educator Code of Conduct, following the approval of an educator Code of Ethics in June 2018. This combined set of rules and procedures is not in response to any one circumstance or incident, but are designed to build on the high standards of the state’s educators, elevate the education profession, and provide guidance to educators.
Criminal Background Check #1
Criminal Background Checks are required by New Hampshire State Law. Students who declare candidacy in an educator preparation program must complete the first mandatory background check upon acceptance to the program.  For graduate students, this is before beginning coursework. For undergraduate students, the background check should be completed during the second year at PSU. 

For more information and instructions regarding the criminal background check, click here. 

Decision Point II: Getting Started as a Teacher Candidate
Internship in Teaching Application
You will find the internship application on the Holmes Center Internship in Teaching Overview page. Click here to go there, and then choose the semester/year of your internship to access the correct form. Note that this “application” is for placement purposes, not admittance to the program.
Praxis II
The English Education graduate program requires passing Praxis II prior to the internship. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information.
GPA Requirement
Required Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.7 or higher. Elementary Education requires a 3.0 or higher. All Graduate Programs require a 3.0 or higher.

Decision Point III: Internship Preparation
The Decision Point III milestone includes matching teacher candidates with mentor teachers. This is done by program coordinators and the Holmes Center. Once assigned, teacher candidates (interns) will meet mentors and begin the exciting task of building relationships.
Confirmation Sheet
The signed Internship in Teaching Confirmation Sheet must be submitted by May 15th for Fall interns and December 1st for Spring interns.
Criminal Background Check #2
After completing the confirmation sheet, teacher candidates must contact the placement school SAU office to complete the FBI criminal record background check. New Hampshire state law requires the SAU to have the background check results in their office before the internship begins.
GPA Requirement
By the end of the semester preceding your internship, you must have a Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.7 or higher. Elementary Education requires a 3.0 or higher. All Graduate Programs require a 3.0 or higher.
Seminar I: Preparing for the Internship

Seminar I is required for all interns. The Holmes Center will host a meeting to explain the ins and outs of your internship. Mentors and University Supervisors will experience similar material in their internship overview and training sessions. Seminar I includes:

➢ Overview of your internship calendar including dates for events such as resume workshopping, Seminar II, and Seminar III

➢ Overview of the Internship in Teaching policies and this handbook

➢ Review of the Evaluation Competencies Rubric for your program

➢ Co-teaching training

➢ Lesson planning expectations and guidance

➢ Review of the NH Codes of Conduct & Ethics

Content area testing is not required for graduation or for recommendation for licensure. It is, however, required by the NHED for licensure. It is strongly recommended that teacher candidates complete licensure required content area testing before the internship semester, because coursework learning will be freshest at this time, and the licensure process will be optimally efficient after the internship.

Click here for content area test requirements and instructions.

Decision Point IV: The Internship in Teaching
Registering for the Internship
Decision Points I, II and III must be completed prior to registering for the Internship. The Holmes Center will submit a registration override.
Seminar II: Preparing for Employment
This seminar is an opportunity to meet with principals and superintendents to discuss the hiring process. Educational Leaders will share best practices for effective resumes as well as excelling during interviews.

Professional Dress is required.

Midterm/Site 1 Evaluation
The Mentor Teacher and Co-evaluator/University Supervisor will each complete this evaluation after the first seven weeks of the internship. The handbook details the expectations.
Final/Site 2 Evaluation
The Mentor Teacher and Co-evaluator/University Supervisor will each complete this evaluation at the conclusion of the internship. The handbook details the expectations.
Seminar III: Internship Wrap-Up
At the end of the internship, Holmes Center faculty and staff will review the Certification process and discuss next steps after graduation. This required seminar will also be a celebration of success!

Click here for an overview of the licensure process.